Mrs. "H" and her husband had been coming in for their "maintenance" adjustments for quite a while and, during one particular visit, she brought her fifteen-month-old daughter, who was in a seriously poor mood. When asked, Mom said the little girl, Amy, had an ear infection "again" and was going to have the tubes put into her ears "again."
I asked how many times this had been done and she said this would be the third time.
I told her chiropractic works well with ear infections and related how I had been able to help my own daughter with a similar problem.
She said, "Why not; nothing else seems to help".
I did a very gentle Atlas adjustment on Amy then adjusted her ears.
I saw the Mom again several weeks later and she told me this story. One day Amy wakes up crying, pulling her ears and whining, "Boat, boat."
Mom asks, "What, dear? What are you trying to say?"
All day this went on, "Boat, boat."
When the husband came home he had no more luck than his wife trying to interpret what Amy was saying. This went on for days. Finally, Mom comes in for her regular treatment and has Amy with her. As soon as I walk into the room, Amy jumps up, points her finger at me and shouts out, "BOAT!" She didn’t know how to say Dr. Le Beau; the closest thing in her vocabulary was "boat."
Mom says, "Oh, my God, that’s what she’s been driving us crazy with! She wants to see you!"
Even now, after so many years, I still get goose bumps relating this story. Here is this very young child who knew she needed a chiropractic adjustment. She needed, "The Boat!" She didn’t watch videos on the history of chiropractic, nor was she educated in chiropractic philosophy. All she did was experience a chiropractic adjustment and it changed her life. This young child experienced the power of chiropractic firsthand and innately knew she needed more. All this and she never once asked to see the evidence based research on this technique.
Mom taught her to say, "Dr. Le Beau," in case of further episodes. Oh, by the way, she never did have the surgery again.
Dr. Jim Lee from Twin Cities, Minnesota, taught the "Ear Adjustment" to me in 1973. When performed properly, this adjustment can help with numerous conditions involving the ears and head. A partial list is, of course, ear infections, earaches, tinnitus, sinus problems, vertigo, headaches, difficulty swallowing and numerous syndromes involving the head and ears, including Minnere’s Syndrome.
The technique is simple, but must be done very carefully. There is a potential for injury if you pull too hard or contact the wrong area. In the photo, please note the contact. I use my thumb and the first interphalangeal joint of my index finger to contact the deep portion of the lower ear. Please Do NOT contact the ear lobe. This is a very sensitive and weak area and a forceful pull on this structure can easily pull the ear lobe off or seriously injure the lower ear (please take note; this is a BAD thing).
Once you have the correct contact, the line of adjustment is up with an outward pull. Quite often there is a loud audible that many doctors tell me is the Eustachian tube breaking the vacuum causing the problem in the first place. Whatever causes the audible noise, this can be very dramatic and, in the case of small children, can be quite frightening. It is best with young children to make an adventure of the adjustment and tell them to listen for the "pop."
Also with small children and, yes, even babies, I change my contact slightly. I use the tips of my thumb and index finger and pull up and out, very lightly. Even in babies, the audible is quite noticeable. I have had numerous times when the mom will call me the next day and tell me the child’s pillow was covered with a thick green mucus resulting from the ear draining. I tell you this so you can reassure the parents that this is to be expected when the ear "opens up."
When I demonstrate this technique at my seminars, I always seem to have literally dozens of doctors come up and want to experience the feeling of the "Ear Adjustment." When you first start doing this treatment on your patients, please go easy until you get familiar with the technique. Have fun and, as always, if you need help or have questions,t please feel free to contact me any time at my e-mail.
Dr. Le Beau practices at Chiropractic Industrial and Sports Center; 1365 West Vista Way, Suite 100; Vista, CA 92083. Send your questions to Dr. Le Beau, send them to him at